Thursday, January 31, 2013

‘Everthing will vanish except Islam’

********************* In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ****************** Reflection ****************** The Declining Day (Al-'Asr) 1. By the declining day, 2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss, 3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance. **************** “At 50 you will realize that the ‘nikmat’ (gift) of God will be taken away from you one by one,” said an ‘ustaz’ (religious teacher) who was giving a lecture on lessons to be learned from the birth of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. (Maulidur Rasul) at a masjid near my house recently. ********************** One ‘nikmat’ is we have to give way on food, said the ‘ustaz’. He said one will realize that at 50 his/her teeth would start falling, so he/she would have the ‘nikmat’ of eating good but ‘tough’ food such as beef declining as the days went by and when one is tested positive for having hypertension and is confirmed a diabetic then his/her ‘normal’ diet would have to go as well. *********************** “Then it is the time for ‘no more sugar please’ or please, no ‘kambing’ (mutton) for me.’ So you would realize that the ‘nikmat’ of having good food was being taken away from you. *********************** “As you get matured religiously, you will realize that everything you ‘own’ would not ‘stick’ with you. Your black and beautiful hair would be gone, being replaced by ‘silver’ ones; your body and bones would ache; your youthful look gone gone and when you look at the mirror an old tired face would stare back at you!” ******************** At times while reminiscing our fate including our lost ‘ability and beauty’, we would question ourselves; why were we sent into this world and where we are heading for? On why we were sent into this world, in Surat Adh-Dhariyat 51:56 (The Winnowing Winds) Allah SWT says, with the meaning; “I have only created jinn and men, that they may serve Me.” Yes, human existence along with jinn is to worship Allah SWT. *************************** “Then would came a fateful day when your 'roh' (soul) leaves your body. Your body would be buried six feet underground in your grave. So everything would vanish from you except for one that is ‘Islam’. If you are a practising Muslim, your ‘amal’ (good deeds) would be by your side, but if you don’t have any…how are you going to face those days which is 'kekal' (forever)…,” says the ‘ustaz’. **************************** So we have to be ‘syukur’ (thankful to Allah SWT) for being Muslims. And among human being to whom should we be thankful in bringing us on the straight path as Muslims? He is none other than Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. whose birthday scholars believe falls on the 12th Rabiulawal (for this year it is on Thursday, January 24th). *********************** Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. had brought the words of God and before him there was a line of prophets from Adam to Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Daud (David), Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus). They were the main prophets from more than 124,000 prophets, all inviting mankind to the path of true peace and obedience to one true God. ************************** The main prophets too had the ‘kitab’ (books of Allah) with the al-Qur’an which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad as the final guidance to mankind until ‘kiamat’ (end of the world). So use the Qur'an to guide our lives. *********************** Human beings are weak and unknowledgeable so they had to depend on Allah SWT who at His mercy sent prophets and His books as their guidance. The job of human beings was to follow and obey Allah SWT instructions contained in the Qur’an and examples shown by the Prophet s.a.w. *********************** A book ‘Pearls of the Prophet – A Guide to successful life from the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)’ has this note about Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. “It is remarkable that his career covered all possible spheres of life such as that of a preacher in a mosque, as a worldly man amongst family and friends, as a man of piety, as a leader, as a soldier, a reformer, a politician, a statesman, an administrator and finally as a ruler of a vast kingdom. ********************* “He had the privilege therefore of not only laying down rules of guidance in all such capacities but also gave a practical illustration of these rules. It is these sayings and doings of the Prophet that form the subject matter of Hadith – a guide to successful life from the Prophet.” ******************** Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the unanimous choice of scholars as the greatest man in history. Hart in his book ‘The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History’ ranked the Prophet first, while Lamartine / Histoire de la Turquie / Paris 1854 asked; If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad?” **************** So western scholars have acknowledged that Prophet Muhammad is the greatest man and of course the greatest politician of all time, so who are we to stray away from his way in life including in politics? ****************** Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., the final Prophet and Messenger of God, taught us the full and complete meaning of Islam (surrender and commitment to the will of God) through his words, his actions and the revealed Book – the Holy Qur’an. ****************** Some Muslims nowadays are not practicing the Prophet’s teaching in its truest sense; they are giving the wrong impression about Islam. They seem to follow and adhere to what benefits them and abandon the teachings that are against their interests. ******************* The ‘ustaz’ reminded Muslims to show their love for the Prophet by always remembering him by way of pronouncing the ‘salawat’ (salutations to the Prophet) and to adhere and follow all his teachings and actions. ******************* So what are the teachings of the Prophet s.a.w. or to cut short what is Islam that would safe us in this world and after our death when we were buried six feet underground? In the book ‘Essence of Islam’ (Islamic Outreach-ABIM), it is stated that Islam means complete submission or surrender to the will of Allah SWT (The Most High). ***************** Islam also means peace and the way to achieve peace. Islam teaches that there is only one God, who is called Allah in Arabic. Since the time of emergence of the first man on earth, God in His mercy raised among men numerous prophets or messengers and the last of all the messengers was Muhammad s.a.w. *************** Islam is not a new religion. It consists of the same basic message which God has given in all true religions, and all prophets brought this same message for our guidance. ****************** Muhammad s.a.w., the final Prophet and Messenger of God, taught us the full and complete meaning of Islam (surrender and commitment to the will of God) through his words, his actions and the revealed book, the Holy Qur’an. *************** All Muslims actions are governed by the principles of ‘halal’ (permissible) and ‘haram’ (forbidden, unlawful or sinful). It is ‘halal’ to be involved in business activities but ‘haram’ in practising ‘riba’ (usury). **************** Only ‘Islam’ (our ‘amal’or work) would help us when we are buried deep inside our graves – everything else would vanish from us; where would be our status, power, posts, positions, youthful looks, strengths, cleverness, monies, luxury cars, bungalows, lands and so on; they are of no help at all. ***************** But the Prophet s.a.w. had given us the assurance that after death there would be three things that could continously benefit a person: 1) sadaqa (charity) 2) knowledge that he spreads, and 3) children who pray for him. So 'grab' these things before it is too late!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Umno – dulu, kini dan…menyusahkan rakyat

***************** Dengan nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang; selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. ******************* Renungan ****************** "Apabila seorang manusia meninggal dunia, terputuslah semua amalnya kecuali tiga perkara iaitu sedekah jariah, ilmu yang bermanfaat dan anak soleh yang mendoakannya." (Hadis laporan Muslim) ************************ Dulu, semasa aku kecil Umno dan kapal layar cukup kuat di kampungku. Apa tidaknya, ayahku pun pernah jadi ‘ranas’ (runners) untuk Umno masa pilihan raya. Dapatlah $10 (dulu belum pakai tanda RM). Tok guru aku pun kuat sokong Umno. Katanya, orang Melayu bukan undi calon (kalau wakilnya bukan Islam), tetapi pemimpin teratas, Tunku atau Tun Razak. *********************** Pengalaman masa kecilku dengan Umno, sedikit saja. Jadi aku tidak mahulah sentuh Umno zaman Tunku, Tun Razak dan Hussein Onn. Masa itu aku tidak peduli bab politik. Yang aku tahu belajar dan terus belajar, maklumlah nak jadi orang pandai. Disebabkan orang tuaku bantu Umno dan tok guruku pun orang Umno, aku kira Umno masa itu oklah. ********************* Aku nak cerita Umno selepas tahun 1986. Tahun itulah aku mula bekerja sebagai wartawan. Jadi tahulah aku sikit sebanyak pasal cerita Umno ini. Tahun 1986 ini, pemimpin Umno berkelahi besar. Tup-tup Musa Hitam ‘resign’ daripada jawatan Timbalan Perdana Menteri. Sebelum itu, dia dan Mahathir Mohamad dikatakan bagus ‘kliknya’. Pemimpin 2M. Ini menyebabkan ada dua kumpulan dalam Umno. Ada geng Musa Hitam ada geng Dr Mahathir. ****************************** Peletakan jawatan Musa Hitam menyebabkan Umno berkrisis sepanjang tahun. Pemimpin menyalahkan satu sama lain. Sebagai pemberita, aku diheret ke sana, ke sini. Sanusi Junid, kata macam ini, Anwar Ibrahim kata macam itu pula. Ghafar Baba pula lain ‘story’, Khalid Yunus pula lain pula cakapnya. ********************** Perbalahan pemimpin Umno ini habiskan ‘current’ saja. Buat aku penat, dan orang lain penat. Sepatutnya mereka bersatulah, membangunkan bangsa, negara dan agama seperti yang sering dia orang ucapkan. Ini asyik bergaduh aja. Apabila bergaduh banyaklah tenaga, wang ringgit dan apa saja dibelanjakan untuk tujuan tidak berfaedah. ************************** Kemudian tahun 1988 berlaku satu kejadian teramat dahsyat. Sebab asyik saman menyaman dan tidak puas hati, dalam satu kes, mahkamah putuskan Umno parti tidak sah. Ertinya Umno sudah mati. THE END. Apabila Umno sudah mati, aku sebagai wartawan lagi susah. Kena berkejar sana, berlari sana, buat liputan. Bukankah pemimpin Umno ini menyusahkan rakyat saja. Bergaduh sampai parti diisytiharkan sudah mati. Apabila parti mati barulah mereka berpuas hati, agaknya. ********************** Apabila Umno mati, ada geng pulak dalam Umno. Punyalah dia orang menyusahkan wartawan seperti saya dan banyak orang lain. Kejap kena kejar PJ, kejap kena pergi Bangsar. Pada satu majlis di PJ, aku dengar Rais Yatim dan Ku Li (Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah) lanyak cukup-cukup sama Dr Mahathir. Belasah sana, belasah sini. Itu tidak kena, ini tidak kena. Yang kena (bagus) dia orang saja. Turut hadir Rahmah Osman, mana agaknya puan ini sekarang? ************************* Apabila Umno sudah mati, Dr Mahathir hidupkan Umno Baru. Masa mula-mula Umno Baru ini hidup, dalam suratkhabar, dituliskan Umno Baru, kemudian Umno (B) kemudian tidak pakai apa-apa lagi, Umno saja. Hakikatnya, parti yang ada sekarang adalah Umno Baru. Umno lama dah mati. Umno B inilah yang banyak menyusahkan rakyat, dulu, kini dan…(tak beranilah aku tulis sebab besok siapa tahu). ********************** Sepuluh tahun kemudian (1998), Umno sekali lagi menyusahkan rakyat. Besar juga kesnya. Kali ini Timbalan Presidennya merangkap TPM, Anwar Ibrahim dipecat. Apabila dipecat, Anwar pun buatlah ‘tour’ jelajah Malaysia, cerita dia dizalimi. ******************* Selain Anwar, turut berceramah satu negara adalah salah seorang Naib Presiden Umno ketika itu, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Tujuannya untuk menenangkan ahli-ahli Umno. Ketika Anwar dipecat, Abdullah ada di Durban, Afrika Selatan, menghadiri Sidang Kemuncak Komanwel atas kapasitinya sebagai Menteri Luar, mewakilkan Mahathir. ********************** Apabila balik (atau bergegas pulang?), Abdullah pun memulakan siri ‘slow talk’nya kepada ahli-ahli Umno – menerangkan keadaan. Abdullah menjelajah kampung dan bandar, menceritakan keadaan sebenar. Beliau berusaha mengurangkan ‘damage’ yang sudah berlaku kepada Umno. Apa perkara sebenar yang diceritakan Abdullah itu? ********************* Pada masa Anwar dipecat, saya sudah ‘resign’ daripada tugas sebagai wartawan. Saya sudah bosan dengan dunia kewartawanan begitu. Tetapi saya tetap mengikuti perkembangan semasa. Suatu hari saya sempat mengikuti ‘talk’ Abdullah kepada ahli-ahli Umno di Dewan Masjid Al-Azim yang terletak dalam Kompleks Masjid Al-Azim di tengah-tengah bandar Melaka. *********************** Apa Abdullah cakap mengenai Anwar? Katanya, dia pun sedih dengan pemecatan Anwar. Mereka sama-sama dari Penang. Kongsi banyak perkara. Kongsi banyak rasa. Tetapi ada satu perkara yang tidak boleh ada dalam Umno, katanya. Ini kerana Anwar telah BUAT BENDA ITU. Kerana sudah ‘buat benda itu’, Umno tidak dapat terima Anwar, katanya. ********************** Demikianlah Umno berpecah lagi. Menyusahkan rakyat saja. Bukankah lebih baik semua tenaga yang ada digembleng untuk kebajikan rakyat. Ini asyik bergaduh saja, dulu, kini dan… Apabila banyak wang, tenaga, dan fikiran digunakan untuk bergaduh dan menaikkan diri sendiri, bila agaknya bangsa Melayu ini dapat ditolong. ***************************** Kalau betullah Umno dah tolong orang Melayu, baguslah. Tetapi aku percaya jika orang Umno, terutama pemimpinnya tidak bergaduh besar sepanjang masa, macam anjing dan kucing, maka lebih banyaklah orang Melayu sudah tertolong. Apabila pemimpin asyik bergaduh macam mana rakyat nak jadi baik. Kata orang bapa borek, anak rintik. ********************* Sebab apa pemimpin Umno ini asyik bergaduh? Salah satu sebabnya aku ingat, dia orang tidak amal Islam sepenuhnya dalam kehidupan. Jika terima Islam sepenuh, selamat dunia akhirat. Taklah selalu gaduh-gaduh macam sekarang. *************************** Orang Umno mahu ingat parti sendiri pun pernah mati, nanti Melayu pula akan mati. Kesian Hang Tuah dengan ‘Melayu Tak Hilang Dari Dunia’nya. Itu tak logik. Cukup masa orang Melayu juga akan lenyap. Malah dunia pun akan lenyap. Kiamatlah 'geng'. Takkan 'brother' sudah lupa Rukun Islam? ****************** Jadi kepada pemimpin dan orang Umno, tolonglah jangan menyusahkan rakyat, dulu, kini dan…seperti yang awak sudah buat selama ini.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jangan kerajaan saja berubah, nasib rakyat tetap sama…

******************* Dengan Nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang, selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. ******************* Renungan ********************* "Dan janganlah kamu menghampiri zina, sesungguhnya zina itu adalah satu perbuatan yang keji dan satu jalan yang jahat yang membawa kerosakan." - Maksud Ayat al-Quran Surah al-Israa': 32 *************************** ANTARA pemimpin kontemporari yang saya gemar amat-amati pemikiran termasuk melalui tulisan beliau adalah Timbalan Presiden PAS, Mohamad Sabu. Baru-baru ini beliau menjadi pengerusi penganjur Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat (HKR). Antara ‘mutiara kata’ yang pernah beliau ungkapkan antara lain bermaksud: “tidak guna kerajaan berubah jika nasib rakyat tetap sama…” **************************** Semasa HKR 12 Januari lalu, saya mendengar ‘mutiara’ ini diulang-ulang oleh beberapa pemimpin yang berucap dan juga juruacara. Antara lain, “power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Dan ada menyatakan, “NGO (pertubuhan bukan kerajaan) terus jalankan peranan anda sekalipun kerajaan sudah berubah.” ********************** Ya, NGO perlu berperanan menegur kerajaan semasa. Oleh kerana sifat semua manusia dan organisasi yang dianggotai mereka tidak maksum, semuanya perlukan teguran. Malah khalifah Islam awal seperti Sayidina Abu Bakar r.a. dan Umar r.a. mengalu-alukan orang menegur mereka. *********************** Jadi apabila seorang bekas menteri besar sebuah negeri paling kaya tidak lama dulu bercita-cita menjadikan negerinya sifar pembangkang, hal itu membayangkan dia gila kuasa dan akibatnya dia kini merana dan terhina pula. ************************* Demikian juga wartawan selalu diingatkan berperanan menjadikan akhbar (media massa) sebagai ‘the fourth estate’. Ia bertujuan untuk memeriksa kuasa pemimpin dan kerajaan. Akhbar menjadi penegur; apatah lagi jika sesebuah pihak itu (termasuk kerajaan) mempunyai kuasa besar (seperti tiadanya pembangkang). *********************** Jika akhbar gagal berperanan maka jadilah pemimpin ‘orang gila kuasa’. Kuasa mutlak membawa kepada kehancuran; jadi pada pandangan saya Pakatan Rakyat ketika ini adalah kerjasama politik sangat ideal kerana masing-masing pihak boleh menegur satu sama lain kerana tiada satu pun pihak yang dominan. *********************** Ya berceloteh mengenai teguran ini, e-mel ini mungkin dapat memberi manfaat kepada kita semua. ********************* “Tuan penulis, saya ikuti tulisan tuan di sebuah akhbar harian nasional sejak saya bersekolah lagi. Baru-baru ini saya ada baca artikel tuan tentang gambar pemimpin bertajuk ‘Gila pamer gamber, gila mengampu…’. Saya berpendapat tulisan tuan agak mengelirukan dan ‘bias’ kerana beberapa persoalan yang tuan timbulkan seolah-olah tidak dibuat oleh penyokong dan pimpinan PAS. *************************** Tuan merujuk maksud hadis Nabi s.a.w. tetapi perincian ulasan tersebut amat ringkas. Saya juga adalah ahli PAS. Tindakan menggantung gambar/foto pemimpin turut dibuat oleh ahli/penyokong PAS malah lebih hebat berbanding oleh Umno-BN. Apabila ada ceramah, akan digantung ‘banner’ info program yang meletakkan gambar muka penceramah yang tersengih dan ayu itu. ************************** Lebih hebat jika ada yang menggantung foto-foto Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi Awang, Tuan Guru Dr Haron Din malah gambar arwah Ustaz Fadhil Mohd Nor pun ada. Bagaimana dengan baju-T, rantai kunci, poster, pelekat bergambar yang bersepah dijual oleh peniaga merata tempat dan dipakai oleh penyokong-penyokong. Mungkin di Melaka tiada, wallahu'alam. ********************** Setahu saya belum ada lagi penyokong Umno yang berniaga gambar-gambar pemimpin mereka serta dibeli oleh penyokong melainkan diberi percuma. Maknanya penyokong PAS-Pakatan Rakyat lebih ke hadapan dalam mengekspresikan sokongan mereka. Mungkin juga boleh dikatakan taksub. Saya bukanlah orang yang cukup arif dalam ilmu agama, sekadar fahaman saya jika foto tersebut tidak melibatkan seluruh tubuh badan adalah dibenarkan dalam ijtihad ulama. Contohnya gambar muka separas bahu atau separas dada. *********************** Cuba tuan lihat di Kedah, bukan setakat banner di tiang elektrik tepi jalan tetapi penuh ‘billboard’ gergasi wajah MB Kedah, Dato’ Seri Ustaz Azizan Razak di serata negeri. Saya orang Kedah jadi saya nampak. Kadang kala naik jelik sampai orang kata MB Kedah ni MB billboard. Berapa kos? Siapa yang dapat tender? Siapa yang keluarkan kos? Nampak membazir pun ada. Pantang ada perayaan dan hari kebesaran negeri atau Pusat maka akan naik poster/billboard yang baru manakala yang lama dibuang. ************************ Contoh yang amat nyata, di Kawasan Bukit Gantang sedang giat menaikkan poster/banner/bunting berwajah pemimpin seperti Dato’ Seri Nizar Jamaluddin /Ustaz Idris Ahmad bersaiz besar. Sampaikan kenderaan rasmi kegunaan pusat khidmat MP Bukit Gantang iaitu van dan 4WD turut mempunyai wajah di sisi pintu. ******************** Itu yang penyokong Umno sebut muka Nizar nampak kat pintu kereta saja, orangnya bayang pun tak ada. Saya harap tuan sebagai wartawan berpengalaman puluhan tahun menulis dapat mencari isu-isu yang lebih membina minda pembaca. Bukan sekadar mengkritik Umno-BN secara membuta tuli seolah-olah PAS langsung tiada kesalahan. Bagaimana justifikasi tuan sedangkan orang PAS turut lakukan yang sama? Jangan kuali kata belanga bontotnya hitam.”

Friday, January 25, 2013

Simply irresponsible reporting!

********************* In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ******************* Reflection ***************** The Declining Day (Al-'Asr) 1. By the declining day, 2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss, 3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort  one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance. ******************** As usual, on the morning of January 13, a day after ‘Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat’ (the peoples uprising rally) in Kuala Lumpur, I read my papers and was shocked to see the headline of a Sunday edition of a daily which read ‘Simply irresponsible’ regarding what it called ‘the Opposition-led rally’. ******************** Under that headline, there were three subtitles which read; ‘Children, banners with provocative messages present’, 'Anwar threatens trouble if Pakatan loses election’ and ‘rally organisers did not adhere to all conditions, say police’. ********************* Three pictures were shown on the page; the lead picture showing a woman who was about to close her shop, another picture showed rubbish on the roadside and lastly a tired toddler who was fast asleep on his toy bicycle. ******************* Then while flipping through the pages inside, I noticed reports filed in by 15 REPORTERS (based their bylines printed on a page) on the peoples’ rally were mostly on the negative side of the event such as mentioning ‘condition not heeded at rally’, ‘children spotted in rally locations’ and ‘most in the dark over rally’s objective’. ********************* The pictures printed inside the pages too were to give a bad impression on the rally. There was a big picture (covering more than a half page) showing rally participants entering an almost empty Stadium Merdeka. Other pictures showed parents bringing in their children along and shops being closed. ****************** Although it was estimated that more than 100,000 people (PAS Deputy President and chairman of the organizing committee of the rally, Mohamad Sabu claimed 500,000 people thronged Stadium Merdeka and its vicinity, the paper failed to publish any pictures of the said crowd. *********************** Flipping through the pages of the daily and seeing that kind of reports and pictures being filled in by 15 journalists (oh, that a big crowd to be added to the number of participants) on the rally (the number of photographers covering the event was not mentioned) and browsing a few Malay dailies on that historic event, I could not help but recall my younger days as a reporter when I was assigned to cover South Africa first multiracial election in April 1994. ************************ In that election, African National Congress (ANC) headed by Nelson Mandela took part for the first time, won more than 60 percent of the votes but fell short of getting a two-thirds majority. Thus it had to share power with the white’s National Party (NP) and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) to form the National Unity Government in which Mandela became the first black to be sworn in as President of South Africa. ******************* Prior to the elections, rallies were held; I attended one called by ANC which was held in First National Bank (FNB) Stadium in Soweto, a vast black township on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Some 100,000 people attended the rally in which the guest speaker was Mandela. ******************* In the stadium, I witnessed the uprising of the ‘ordinary’ South Africans; they roared and cheered wildly ‘Viva Mandela’ and ‘Viva ANC’ when their leader arrived and made a speech. ******************* When I was in Stadium Merdeka I could not help but compare it to the events I witnessed in the FNB Stadium. The scene and spirit of the people were almost the same. That spirit brought to the demise of the ‘white government’ and ended apartheid that has gripped the nation for several centuries. ******************** The event in South Africa is history so could readers just imagine what would happened after attending the rally in FNB Stadium, I filed in reports to be sent to my editors in Kuala Lumpur saying that children were seen there, some shops were being closed and the rally organizer did not adhere to the conditions imposed by police. ****************** If I did that, perhaps the editors would curse and shouted to me over the phone; “What rubbish and nonsense you are writing, you are just wasting our time and money for sending you there. What are you doing in the stadium? Are you blind; I read reports by international news agencies that 100,000 people attended the rally; why did you send that rubbish instead?” ****************** Regarding the coverage on the peoples’ rally in Kuala Lumpur, perhaps some reporters might have filed in ‘the usual stuff’ but their reports were ‘spin’ by their editors. If this is the case, I pitied the reporters involved; perhaps they should have a thought about their future in that news-house. ***************** Perhaps too before the reporters were sent on their beat, they were assigned and told to gather news within the scope given by their editors – “Ali, you focus on children attending the rally”, “Lim, you look up for conditions not heeded” and “Siva, be attentive to bad words spoken by their leaders.” ********************** Mass media especially newspapers in Indonesia (our neighbour) turned sides to almost 360 degrees from pro-Suharto to pro-rakyat during their revolution that saw the demise of that dictator who held helms for decades. How's about our own media? The Indonesian media played their roles well during the transitional period which led to the process of free and fair elections that saw leaders such as BJ Habibie, Gus Dur, Megawati dan Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) becoming presidents. ****************** Unfortunately, our media especially the Malay and English press has failed badly. Instead of playing a huge part in reforming readers, they force them into the underside of the coconut’s shell just like the ‘peribahasa’ (proverb) ‘bagaikan katak di bawah tempurung’ (like the frog under the coconut shell). ***************** They are taking the wrong step because nowadays more and more readers are receptive to the new media including on-line news portals, blogs, facebook and twitter. It is in this new media, events, ideas, thought, critics and so on are shared thus awakening the masses on happenings around them including corrupt practice and mismanagement of those in power. ******************** Unable to read balance reports from the traditional media, the new generation turns to the new media. Regarding the peoples rally, there are hundreds of pictures in the internet showing Stadium Merdeka and areas surrounding it were filled to capacity; so who are the main target to be fooled by the papers concerned? ******************** Back to our main stream media; not long ago, they are front runners in splashing and blowing reports about people’s power in far away countries such as Tunisia, Syria, Egypt or even our neigbours, Thailand and Indonesia, but one question is why they keep silent on the almost same development in our beloved country. **************** Why silence on abuse of power, corruption, and mismanagement and so on of a chosen few including those who were found guilty at party levels. It’s shocking that some of them still hold top government political post such as chairman of certain agencies and spearheading state governments. ***************** The main stream media is merely tools of those few in power thus failed to acknowledge the growing needs and inspiration of the rakyat; the majority of them have to face hardship in life because of the rampant increase in price of essential goods such as flour, gas, petroleum and sugar. ****************** The mass media failed to notice (or purposely failed to) those negative traits, thus turn a blind eye on them but have tendency to blow up developments involving the people’s power in far away countries such as Tunisia and Egypt. ******************** So do our mass media fit the Malay ‘peribahasa’ (proverb) – ‘kuman di seberang lautan nampak, bangkai gajah di depan mata tidak nampak’ which literally means germs in far away lands you could be see but the carcass of a dead elephant under your own eyes could not be noticed! And so this Umno-BN regim wants to keep the rakyat under the 'tempurung'. They event can’t notice the hundred thousands of people walking the streets of Kuala Lumpur even it is under their own eyes. ***************** Hundred thousand of ‘rakyat’ were attending the peoples’ rally on January 12, yet there were no ‘actual’ report and pictures about it by the majority of our main stream media but they could have reports and pictures spread out on the uprising of the peoples in Egypt, Thailand and Indonesia…oh that was simply irresponsible reporting! ********************* Comment ***************** Recently I read a Malay daily at a coffee-shop and while flipping across pages of its Sports section I was surprised to see two full pages allocated to four digits and Toto results. Is this ‘development’ more important than the peoples’ uprising since some of our papers ‘blackened’ the news and pictures of the rally?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wartawan bila nak berubah?

**************** Dengan Nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang, selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. **************** Renungan *************** "Dan janganlah kamu menghampiri zina, sesungguhnya zina itu adalah satu perbuatan yang keji dan satu jalan yang jahat yang membawa kerosakan." - Maksud Ayat al-Quran Surah al-Israa': 32 ***************** Bersyukur ke hadrat Illahi kita dipanjangkan usia, dapatlah kita memuzakarahkan isu semasa; kali ini kita ingin menyentuh pendekatan dua kumpulan kerjaya – polis dan wartawan - yang ada kaitan langsung dengan perhimpunan rakyat seperti Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat (HKR) di Kuala Lumpur 12 Januari lalu. ***************** Berdasarkan pengalaman dan daripada laporan mengenai HKR, kita dapati pihak polis mempamerkan tindakan dan sikap yang jelas berbeza berbanding perhimpunan rakyat sebelum ini seperti Bersih 1, 2 dan 3, bantahan terhadap Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam bahasa Inggeris (PPSMI) dan ISA. ****************** Kali ini kita perhatikan ‘ketiadaan’ anggota Unit Simpanan Persekutuan (FRU) yang biasanya pada setiap perhimpunan rakyat akan bersiap sedia dengan meriam penyembur air kimia dan peledak gas pemedih mata. Kehadiran pasukan beruniform lengkap dengan perisai, cota dan ‘senapang peledak gas pemedih mata’ di samping trak mereka termasuk ‘black maria’, begitu menggetarkan orang awam. ******************* Sebaliknya apa yang orang ramai saksikan adalah anggota pasukan keselamatan yang sedia membantu rakyat seperti mengawal lalu lintas jalan dan laluan ke perhimpunan; sesetengahnya yang mengawasi persimpangan jalan mempamerkan senyuman dan bertegur sapa dengan peserta HKR. ***************** Kita menyambut baik dan mengucapkan syabas kepada perubahan yang dipamerkan oleh pihak polis (berdasarkan apa yang dilihat pada HKR) tetapi mempersoalkan ‘ketidak profesional’nya sesetengah wartawan terutama daripada akhbar berbahasa Melayu dan Inggeris dalam membuat laporan mereka. Mungkin mereka telah membuat laporan yang ‘okay’ (menggambarkan suasana sebenar HKR) tetapi ‘laporan’ mereka telah ‘diputar-belitkan’ (spin) oleh pengarang. ***************** Sungguh mendukacitakan apabila pihak ini membesar-besarkan laporan kurang nilai berita (sepatutnya fokusnya adalah mengenai perhimpunan rakyat) seperti peserta perhimpunan membawa kanak-kanak, pekedai terpaksa menutup perniagaan dan sampah-sarap terbiar. Malah ada yang mencipta istilah sendiri yang tiada kena mengena dengan semangat kebangkitan rakyat seperti menggelar HKR ini sebagai perhimpunan Shamsidar (isteri Timbalan Presiden KeADILan, Azmin Ali) dan cuba dipopularkan TPM Muhyiddin Yassin. ****************** Nampaknya, di negara kita, keadaan berubah tetapi ada pihak termasuk media massa (terutama akhbar) tidak berubah. Mereka menunggu masa untuk rebah. Sewajarnya kejatuhan rejim diktator dunia terutama di dunia Arab seperti di Tunisia, Mesir dan Libya menyedarkan pihak tertinggi media massa ini bahawa pada era teknologi maklumat ini, rakyat tidak lagi dapat ‘dikelentong’. Mereka mempunyai akses kepada maklumat tepat dan terkini yang disiarkan melalui dunia maya. ****************** Perkembangan media massa di negara tetangga, Indonesia sewajarnya menjadi iktibar. Pada zaman revoulsi, media massa Indonesia berubah 360 darjah daripada prorejim Suharto kepada prorakyat. **************** Media terutama akhbar menyuntik dan menaikkan semangat rakyat untuk menuntut keadilan bagi semua. Suharto akhirnya tumbang bagi membolehkan pilihan raya yang dianggap telus diadakan membawa kepada kepada pemilihan tokoh seperti BJ Habibie, Gus Dur, Megawati dan kini Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) sebagai Presiden. ***************** Media massa negara ini tidak mahukah mengambil iktibar daripada peristiwa di luar negara ini? Nampaknya media massa ini begitu hebat dan terperinci dalam laporan dan paparan mereka mengenai kebangkitan rakyat di luar negara seperti di Mesir dan Tunisia yang terletak ribuan kilometer jauhnya tetapi tidak nampak langsung bangkai gajah (aneka penyelewengan, korupsi, salah tadbir, kenaikan harga barang) di depan mata? ****************** Ratusan ribu orang berhimpun pun tidak disedari bagi dirakam dan disiarkan gambarnya untuk tatapan pembaca sebaliknya mereka membesar-besarkan perkara remeh-temeh seperti kehadiran kanak-kanak dalam perhimpunan. Hanya satu pesanan untuk orang media – anda berubah atau anda rebah bersama-sama ‘tuan’ anda, Umno-BN!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ini kali-lah akan berakhir sebuah rejim...

*********** Dengan nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang; selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. ************* Renungan ************ "Dialah (Allah) yang menciptakan bagi kamu pasangan-pasangan (jodoh) daripada makhluk (jenis) kamu sendiri agar kamu condong kepadanya dan berasa tenteram dengannya. Kemudian Allah menciptakan kasih dan sayang antara kamu." (Surah Ar Rum: 21) ************************ KETIKA duduk bersesak-sesak bersama puluhan ribu hadirin di pangkin Stadium Merdeka pada hari Perhimpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat 12 Januari lalu, fikiran saya jauh melayang mengenangkan pengalaman saya pada suatu hari kira-kira 20 tahun lalu (pada April 1994) menyaksikan kebangkitan rakyat Afrika Selatan yang berhimpun di Stadium First National Bank (FNB) di Soweto, sebuah perbandaran kulit hitam terbesar tidak jauh dari Johannesburg. ******************* Perhimpunan 100,000 rakyat bagi mendengar amanat pejuang Nelson Mandela di stadium itu adalah sebahagian acara menjelang pilihan raya pelbagai kaum pertama yang bersejarah kerana ia menamatkan dasar aparteid selama berabad-abad di Afrika Selatan. Ya, saya dapat rasakan ada ciri-ciri persamaan antara apa yang saya saksi dan rasakan di Stadium Merdeka dan FNB Soweto! ********************** Pengalaman saya di Stadium FNB ada dicatatkan dalam buku saya ‘Dilema Seorang Wartawan Islam’ yang kemudian diterbitkan semula dan diubah tajuk kepada ‘Travelog Wartawan Islam’ oleh penerbit Kemilau Publika. ************************ Dalam bab ‘Di Afrika Selatan’ antara lain saya mencatatkan: “Terhimpit di celah-celah ribuan orang ramai itu (ya, ada persamaannya dengan 'terhimpitnya' saya di ‘tangga kambing’ Stadium Merdeka) adalah saya – seorang wartawan kerdil dari Malaysia, negara yang terletak beribu-ribu kilometer jauhnya. Saya membayangkan sambutan kemerdekaan Tanah Melayu pada 31 Ogos 1957. Ketika itu saya belum lahir lagi. Saya mencongak tentulah suasana meriah itu sama seperti yang berlaku di Stadium FNB itu. ************************ “Kami menyertai ribuan penyokong memasuki stadium ini pada sebelah pagi – menunggu ketibaan Mandela pada waktu petang. Suasana dalam stadium begitu gamat. Laungan ‘Viva ANC’ (Kongres Kebangsaan Afrika pimpinan Mandela) dan ‘Viva Mandela’ memekakkan telinga. ********************** “Orang kulit hitam Afrika Selatan kelihatan begitu bersemangat, daripada wajah mereka terbayang masa depan gemilang di bawah sebuah kerajaan baru...Seperti diketahui umum, ANC memenangi pilihan raya itu dengan lebih 60 peratus undi, sekali gus membolehkan Mandela menjadi orang hitam pertama sebagai Presiden Afrika Selatan...” **************************** Pilihan raya bersejarah Afrika Selatan itu membawa pengakhiran kuasa sebuah rejim – Parti Kebangsaan (NP) pimpinan presiden kulit putih terakhir, FW de Klerk. Rejim aparteid ini akhirnya tersungkur dengan jutaan rakyat memangkah parti ANC dalam pilihan raya, memberi kemenangan kepada Mandela yang sebelum itu terpenjara dalam buangan di Pulau Robbins selama berpuluh-puluh tahun lamanya. *********************** Tanggal 12 Januari lalu juga menyaksikan kebangkitan rakyat, di dalam stadium saya anggarkan ada sekurang-kurangnya 50,000 orang manakala di luar puluhan ribu lagi. Antara lain mereka menuntut sebuah pilihan raya bersih dan adil. ************************** Pada pilihan raya pelbagai kaum pertama Afrika Selatan yang saya ditugaskan membuat liputan 20 tahun lalu, pengendalinya adalah Suruhanjaya Pillihan Raya Bebas (IEC) yang mengundang ratusan badan pemerhati dan pemantau serta individu antarabangsa. Dari Malaysia, saya ketemui pemantau Tan Sri Ghazali Shafie (bekas Menteri Luar yang kini allahyarham) dan Zainah Anwar (saya tak pasti pihak diwakili tokoh daripada Sisters in Islam ini). ************************ Pilihan raya bebas dan adil menyaksikan kebangkitan ANC yang sebelumnya diharamkan dan pemimpinnya dihumban ke dalam penjara. Menjelang pilihan raya pada 27 April 1994, IEC memastikan ketelusan perjalanan pilihan raya termasuk mengamanahkan tugas pemantau kepada tokoh seperti Ghazali dan Zainah. Malah, wartawan kerdil seperti saya juga berpeluang menyaksikan hari-hari dan detik bersejarah Afrika Selatan itu. ************************* Demikianlah antara lain saya membuat catatan dari Stadium FNB Soweto pada suatu hari dalam bulan April 1994. Tanggal 12 Januari 2013, alangkah hampir sama suasananya – saya menyaksikan wajah-wajah bersemangat rakyat yang terlalu rindukan kedamaian, keadilan dan segala yang baik-baik di negara tercinta ini. ************************** Sekalipun menang, ANC gagal mendapat majoriti dua pertiga menyebabkan ia terpaksa bekerjasama dengan NP dan Parti Pembebasan Inkatha (IFP) bagi membentuk sebuah Kerajaan Perpaduan Kebangsaan dengan Mandela sebagai Presiden. ************************** Tercatatlah sejarah bagaimana parti-parti yang sangat berbeza ideologinya (ANC, NP dan IFP) menyampaikan cita-cita membentuk sebuah kerajaan baru Afrika Selatan. Amat jelas Mandela bukanlah seorang yang gila kuasa, selepas sepenggal memerintah, beliau melepaskan kepimpinan ANC kepada Thabo Mbeki yang kemudian menjadi Presiden Afrika Selatan pada 1999. ********************** Jika ANC, NP dan IFP dapat menjayakan cita-cita besar rakyat Afrika Selatan yang menghadapi dugaan lebih berat daripada rakyat Malaysia, tidak ada sebab untuk PAS, DAP dan KeADILan tidak dapat berkorban (bertolak ansur) dalam membina sebuah ‘Malaysia Baru’ demi kepentingan dan masa depan rakyat yang merintih didera puluhan tahun lamanya. Rakyat terlalu rindukan ‘kemerdekaan kedua’ seperti diucapkan salah seorang pemimpin Pakatan! Ya, INI KALI-LAH untuk rakyat membenamkan Umno-BN seperti dilakukan rakyat Afrika Selatan yang mengakhiri sebuah rejim aparteid 20 tahun lalu!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The good husband…

***************** In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ************** Reflection **************** The Declining Day (Al-'Asr) 1. By the declining day, 2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss, 3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance. ******************* It is my everyday routine to sit in front of the TV after returning home from the masjid after performing ‘subuh’ (dawn prayers). There are some good religious and motivational programmes on TV such as ‘Motivasi Pagi’ and ‘Tanyalah Ustaz’. ************************ One day while listening to ‘Motivasi Pagi’; I was moved when the ‘ustaz’ involved when talking about about the character of a good husband said he is not the one who provided for all the material pleasures demanded by his wife but who was able to guide her for her safety in this world and more importantly in the Hereafter. *********************** He read a verse from the Qur’an with the meaning: “O! You who believe, save yourself and your families from Hell-fire, whose fuel are humans and stones (idols) over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who flinch not (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do (precisely) what they are commanded.” (At-Tahrim 66: 6) ********************* Yes, provide for and save your wife from Hell-fire; you are on the right track to be a good husband. Unfortunately in today’s material world, a man who could provide worldly pleasures and fulfil the lust of his wife is looked upon as a good husband. *********************** The wife’s crave for those pleasures are fulfilled. ‘High class’ women demand ‘high class taste of living'; perhaps these included shopping in top fashion and capital cities of the world such as New York, London and Paris looking for Birkin handbags, diamond rings and so on. She also demands to stay in top and exclusive hotels of the world and attending star-studded party. *********************** The ‘ustaz’ said, to have a ‘religious’ wife, you should be ‘religious’ too. A good man is for a good woman and vise versa. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him – s.a.w.) in a hadith by Bukhari and Muslim said: “A woman may be married for four things: for her wealth, for her noble descent, for her beauty or for her religion. Choose the one who is religious, may your hands be rubbed with dust!” ********************** Of course a religious wife would not demand from her husband worldy pleasures which are not within her husband’s means. She knows his limitation and acknowledges her obligation to obey and please him. ************************ In Islam, the husband is the ‘qawwaam’ (maintainer) of his wife so that he will be a ‘real man’ knowing how to steer the ship of family life towards the shore of safety and guidance. ********************** Islam warns all men against the trail and ‘fitnah’ (temptation) of women, which may make them heedless and weak, and lessen their religious commitment, so that they turn a blind eye to the waywardness and unIslamic behaviour of their wives. ********************** In such a case a husband has no say: his wife is controlling everything in the home, so that he dare not disobey her, or answer to her back, or refuse any of her wimps. The Prophet (s.a.w.) was right when he said that this is the most damaging of trails and temptations that a man can be faced with: “There will be no ‘fitnah’ after my death that is worse for men than the ‘fitnah’ of women.” (Bukhari and Muslim) *************************** The Muslim husband is a man who is not weak in dealing with the trial of a wayward wife, no matter how difficult that ‘fitnah’ is. He gently makes it clear to her that no matter how much he loves her, he loves Allah and the Prophet (s.a.w.) more, and his desire to please Allah is stronger than his feelings for her: Say, [O Muhammad], "If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people." (Qur’an 9:24) *************************** In this way, the female waywardness which we see in many so-called Muslim homes will be done away with. The man who sees his wife, daughters and sisters going out in the street with make-up, uncovered heads and bare arms, clothed but seeming naked and does nothing to stop this disobedience in Islam, has surely lost his manhood, abandoned Islam and earned the wrath of Allah SWT. He is a ‘dayus’. There is no way out of this predicament but sincere repentance which will wake him up, restore his manhood and set him back in the straight path. ************************ Islam considers women to be a trust which has been given to men for safe-keeping. As the wife is usually influenced by her husband, he may take her with him to Paradise or lead her to Hell. Therefore Allah SWT orded the believing men to protect both themselves and their families from the Fire and gave a terrifying picture of the awful fate that awaits them if they neglect their responsibilities towards their wives and families and fail to compel them to adhere to the truth. – The Ideal Muslim, Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi (IIPH) ************************* Eventhough a wife is commanded to obey her husband, it is only within the limits of permissiblility, fairness and justice. Women enjoy more protection and respect within Islam compared to any other faith, wrote Dr Y Mansoor Marican in his note ‘Invitation to Understanding Islam’ ( *********************** He writes: “The rights of a Muslim woman include the right to have her survival and sexual needs met by her husband, a marriage contract, and divorce, refuse a marriage proposal and maintain her name when entering marriage. ************************ “She also has the right to inheritance, own and run her own business, exclusive possession of her assets and disposes them in ways that she considers appropriate. In the spiritual realm, women are equal to men as the only distinction amongst the Believers is the level of their piety. The status accorded to women in Islam is best exemplified in the reply of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) when asked about Paradise: “It is at the feet of the mother.” (Bukhari) *************************** Regarding women, the Prophet (s.a.w.) said that, the world and all things in it are valuable; and one of the most valuable in the world is a virtuous woman. ***************************** One day a woman asked the Prophet what were her duties towards her husband. To her, he replied: “A wife should not leave her home without her husband’s permission. Women are the twin halves of men.” ******************** God enjoins you to treat women well, for they are your mothers, daughters and aunts. *********************** The rights of women are sacred. See that women are maintained in the rights assigned to them. ***************************** When a woman performs the five daily prayers, and fasts in the month of Ramadan, and is chaste, and is not disobedient to her husband, then tell her that she can enter Paradise by whichever door she chooses.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Perhimpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat: Bagaimana dan apa wanita fikirkan?

*********** Dengan nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang; selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. ************* Renungan ************ "Dialah (Allah) yang menciptakan bagi kamu pasangan-pasangan (jodoh) daripada makhluk (jenis) kamu sendiri agar kamu condong kepadanya dan berasa tenteram dengannya. Kemudian Allah menciptakan kasih dan sayang antara kamu." (Surah Ar Rum: 21) ************************ MENURUT satu mitos Greek, lelaki dikatakan berasal dari planet berlainan daripada perempuan. ‘Men are from Mars, women are from Venus’ (Lelaki dari planet Marikh, perempuan adalah dari Zuhrah. Namun ia hanya mitos, tiada kebenaran. ********************** Berdasarkan berlainan pemikiran lelaki dan perempuan, hampir tidak pernah saya mencelotehkan hal-hal berkaitan perempuan dalam ruangan ini. Bukan apa, bimbang tersilap, nanti habis orang perempuan membelasah saya. ******************** Namun menjelang Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat pada Sabtu, 12 Januari ini saya terpanggil untuk mencelotehkan sekelumit apa yang wanita perlu lakukan berdasarkan apa yang saya lihat semasa perhimpunan Bersih, membantah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) dan Pengajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam bahasa Inggeris sedikit masa dulu. ************************ Lebih-lebih lagi baru-baru ini saya menerima satu e-mel daripada seorang peminat wanita yang menggelar dirinya Puan Radix yang antara lain menulis: ************************* “Salam Sejahtera! Saya selalu mengikuti tulisan Saudara. Walau di mana kita pergi dan berada, keadaan di tempat itu membuatkan kita terfikir dan berfikir. *********************** Saya ingin berkongsi pengalaman bagaimana orang kita (wanita) berfikir. Baru-baru ini atas sesuatu keperluan saya terserempak dengan seorang pengawal keselamatan wanita. Dia bertugas di sebuah kuarters guru. Sebelum ini pun saya memang dah kenal dengannya (lebih kurang 10 tahun). ********************** Dalam menunggu sahabat yang dalam perjalanan dan berjanji jumpa depan kuarters tersebut, kami berbual santai pasal Bantuan Rakyat 1-Malaysia (BR1M). Saya kata kita ambil sebab itu duit kita. Dia jawab dengan bertanya; “bukanlah kerajaan nak ringankan beban rakyat sebab harga barang naik?” ******************* Saya akui saya bukannya bijak kalau nak berhujah... Kita bayar cukai macam-macam. Duit itu masuk kat LHDN, pi ke Perbendaharaan. Terus ke Kementerian Kewangan. Setiap tahun PM akan bentang Bajet. Peruntukan untuk Kementerian A sekian-sekian bilion ringgit. Peruntukan Kementerian B sekian-sekian bilion ringgit. Malaslah nak hurai kat ‘mak gad’ ni... ******************** Saya tabik sebab dia buat kerja halal.Macam saya juga pernah jadi ibu tunggal nak besarkan anak-anak. Belajar buat kuih dan bekalkan kuih ke kantin pejabat. Tetapi saya sentiasa terapkan budaya membaca dalam diri saya. Ibu tunggal pun warganegara juga. ************************ Jadi Saudara, biarpun siapa kita, jangan malas membaca, ambil tahu apa yang terjadi di keliling anda. Contoh; kenapa ramai pelajar-pelajar Melayu (ini yang sering saya jumpa di sekitar tempat tinggal saya) ponteng sekolah. Siap dengan rokok sebatang untuk dihisap 4-5 orang. Kesian kat mak ayah. Susah payah cari rezeki anak kurang berminat belajar. Anak siapa tu... ********************* Kalau ada ‘info’ yang kurang tepat minta maaflah ye...(yang berkaitan dengan perbelanjaan negara). Pendek kata, orang seperti inilah akan menerima PM20 untuk undi ....tak berbaloi kak oiii...(ada kat kampung saya di utara).” ****************** Berbalik kepada cadangan ‘tidak seberapa’ saya apa yang wanita perlu lakukan ketika ke rapat umum seperti Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat itu. Dulu selepas Perhimpunan Bersih 2.0 disuraikan dengan tembakan gas pemedih mata, saya perhatikan bukan saja peserta lelaki menunaikan solat zuhur di sebuah kawasan lapang di sisi Menara Maybank tetapi juga ada wanita berbuat demikian. ******************** Saya tabik dan kagum kepada mereka yang boleh melakukannya dengan lengkap bertelekung sekali. Ada yang mencari kawasan terpencil di celah-celah gerai untuk menunaikan solat. Ya, syahdu sekali melihat keprihatinan mereka untuk menunaikan tanggungjawab kepada Allah sekalipun keadaan begitu genting. ************************** Di sini saya terpanggil untuk berkongsi pengalaman dan membetulkan tanggapan segelintir wanita bahawa bertelekong itu adalah keperluan mesti untuk seseorang wanita solat. Daripada apa yang saya pelajari, batasan aurat perempuan di luar solat adalah sama seperti ketika solat. ********************** Semasa musim haji, di Makkah dan Madinah, kita perhatikan jemaah wanita yang bersolat lengkap bertelekung kebanyakannya adalah dari negara-negara Asia Tenggara, mereka dari benua kecil India dan negara Arab hanya dengan jubah atau seluar panjang dan baju labuh dengan tudung. Mereka juga pakai stokin. Pakaian kebanyakan mereka ketika di luar solat dan semasa solat adalah sama saja. ************************* Itulah kalau wanita kita sudah mengenakan pakaian menutup aurat sepenuhnya ketika menyertai perhimpunan, tidak perlulah mereka sibuk-sibuk dengan telekung lagi; apabila hendak solat, solat saja; ini dapat menyelamatkan masa dan diri mereka sendiri dalam suasana kritikal ini!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Berjimat cermatlah dengan wang rakyat!

***************** DENGAN nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang; selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. ******************* Renungan ***************** "Dan janganlah engkau berdoa selain daripada Allah, iaitu sesuatu yang tidak dapat memberikan manfaat kepadamu, dan tidak pula mendatangkan mudarat. Maka jika engkau perbuat juga, sesungguhnya engkau pada waktu itu, termasuk orang-orang yang menganiaya dirinnya sendiri." (Maksud Ayat 106 Surah Yunus) ******************** Bersyukur ke hadrat Illahi kita masih diberi kesempatan oleh-Nya bagi memuzakarahkan isu semasa dan kali ini kita akan menyentuh keperluan agensi kerajaan berjimat cermat dalam membelanjakan wang rakyat. *********************** Setiap hujung tahun kita perhatikan hampir semua institusi, agensi dan jabatan kerajaan ‘membalun’ habis-habisan peruntukan kewangan masing-masing, semuanya perlu dihabiskan sebelum permulaan tahun baru. Akan timbul pelbagai istilah kurang menyenangkan seperti “jika wang diperuntukkan tidak dihabiskan bermakna institusi berkenaan tidak tahu berbelanja” dan “lecehlah mahu buat kira-kira bagi mengembalikan wang peruntukan itu kepada Perbendaharaan.” *********************** Akibat daripada kecenderungan ini, kita perhatikan wang rakyat dihamburkan tidak tentu hala, banyak projek yang tidak diperlukan dijayakan pada saat-saat akhir. Jalan raya yang baik ditar semula, longkang yang sudah baik saliran airnya dipecahkan dan dibikin baru, demikian juga dengan tandas masjid dipecahkan dan di atas runtuhannya dibikin tandas baru. **************************** Bagi kakitangan jabatan pula terlalu banyak program dijayakan pada hujung tahun, termasuklah lawatan sambil belajar dan seminar dan pertemuan yang dirasakan tidak perlu tetapi semata-mata untuk menghabiskan semua peruntukan kewangan yang telah diterima. Ada pegawai yang begitu sukar ditemui pada bulan Disember kerana mereka kerap mengikuti program-program dianjurkan jabatannya. ************************* Bagi kita menghabiskan semua wang peruntukan ini bagi menghadapi tahun baru termasuk melaksanakan projek-projek tidak perlu dengan alasan kononnya “pandai dan bijak berbelanja” adalah kecenderungan atau ‘tren’ buruk yang wajar diperhalusi dan diberhentikan. ************************** Berbelanja ‘sakan’ pada hujung tahun menjayakan projek tak perlu adalah bertentangan dengan konsep jimat cermat yang bukan hanya perlu diterapkan kepada diri dan keluarga (duit sendiri) tetapi juga semua pihak termasuk jabatan dan agensi kerajaan yang diamanahkan membelanjakan wang rakyat. *********************** Apakah seseorang ketua keluarga (biasanya suami) yang pada setiap hujung tahun akan berhabis-habisan menghamburkan lebihan wang peruntukan untuk keluarga untuk projek-projek tidak berfaedah semata-mata untuk mendapat gelaran ‘pandai berbelanja’ adalah seorang ‘bijaksana’ berbanding seseorang yang mengumpul wang lebihan itu melaksanakan pelbagai aktiviti berfaedah pada tahun-tahun berikutnya? *********************** Bagi kita mereka yang mengambur-hamburkan wang ini tersasar jauh daripada konsep berjimat cermat serta amanah dalam apa-apa pemberian anugerah Allah SWT kepada mereka. ********************* Berhubung dengan tindakan berhati-hati dan berjimat cermat dalam mengguna serta menguruskan wang rakyat ini, kita tertarik dengan sebuah laporan bergambar dari London baru-baru ini yang menunjukkan Ratu Elizabeth II dalam satu mesyuarat Kabinet British di No 10 Downing Street, sanggup duduk di kerusi ‘biasa’ bersebelahan Perdana Menteri David Cameron dalam sebuah bilik ‘yang biasa-biasa saja’. ********************** Berdasarkan situasi ini, dapat kita simpulkan betapa orang Barat (termasuk pemimpinnya) amat berhati-hati dalam segala hal berkaitan dengan wang rakyat. Mereka dipertanggungjawabkan di atas setiap sen wang rakyat yang mereka gunakan untuk perbelanjaan kerajaan. Mereka tidak menghamburkan wang rakyat untuk melaksanakan projek mengikut suka hati masing-masing kerana semuanya akan direkodkan dan ada kira-kiranya. ******************* Kita berpendapat adalah mustahil Ratu Elizabeth dan anggota Kabinet British tidak mampu untuk mendapatkan kerusi dan bilik yang gah dan mewah tetapi itulah kelebihan mereka – mereka kelihatan bersederhana sekali walaupun berada di kedudukan tinggi; wang rakyat tidak akan sesekali mereka persia-siakan! ********************* Namun adakah dalam ini kita sama kelas atau sekurang-kurangnya menghampiri kedudukan mereka? Sungguh malang, kita hanya kuat melaungkan pelbagai slogan kebaikan sedangkan negara kita berada di kedudukan jelek termasuk dari segi indeks rasuah!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Masjid Keroh yang 'jernih'

******************** Dengan nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang; selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. ********************** Renungan *********************** “HANYALAH yang memakmurkan masjid-masjid Allah ialah orang-orang beriman kepada Allah dan hari kemudian, serta tetap mendirikan solat, menunaikan zakat dan tidak takut (kepada siapa pun) selain Allah, maka merekalah orang-orang yang diharapkan termasuk golongan orang-orang yang mendapat petunjuk.” (QS. at-Taubah:18) *************************** KIRA-KIRA jam 12.00 tengah hari tanggal 25 Disember lalu, saya dan keluarga yang dalam perjalanan dari Kota Bharu ke Kuala Lumpur, terperangkap dalam kesesakan jalan raya yang teruk di laluan berhampiran bandar Kuala Krai. Dereten kenderaan memanjang di sepanjang laluan menghala pekan itu. Selepas dua jam bersesak-sesak sebelum menghampiri bandar Kuala Krai barulah saya tahu kenderaan bergerak perlahan kerana terpaksa meredah arus air banjir. ****************************** Ketika berlaku kesesakan itu, saya dan keluarga sempat singgah di Masjid Keroh untuk solat jamak zuhur dan asar. Waduh, sepanjang beberapa kali saya berkelana di Kelantan sejak pertama kali pada 1988, inilah masjid terbersih (pada pandangan saya) dengan kemudahan paling tersusun pernah saya temui di negeri Cik Siti Wan Kembang ini. Walaupun bernama 'Masjid Keroh' , terletak di Kampung Keroh yang hanya beberapa kilometer dari bandar Kuala krai, 'kejernihan' suasananya menambat hati saya. ********************************** Melalui ruangan ini, izinkan saya berceloteh hal-hal menarik saya saksikan di masjid ini yang insya-Allah boleh dijadikan contoh oleh pengurusan masjid-masjid lain. Apabila dinyatakan bersih, tentunya keadaan tandas dan tempat wuduk masjid begitu selesa keadaannya. Apatah lagi ruang solat dan almari di mana naskhah al-Quran dan kitab-kitab diletakkan. *********************** Selepas solat, saya pun melihat-lihat papan kenyataannya. Seperti masjid-masjid lain ada disertakan senarai nama ahli jawatankuasa masjid. Namun apa yang menariknya, di masjid ini ada dinyatakan (ditulis secara terperinci) tugas-tugas ahli jawatankuasa masjid itu. Bagi saya ini perkara ini sesuatu yang amat baik kerana kebiasaannya hanya nama AJK masjid ditulis tetapi orang ramai termasuk jemaah masjid tidak tahu apa sebenarnya tugas dan apa yang dibuat mereka. *************************** Ada AJK masjid yang bukan saja tidak menyumbang apa-apa kepada usaha memakmurkan masjid malah mereka pun jarang-jarang ke masjid, ada yang hanya datang untuk bersolat Jumaat saja malah mungkin ada yang tidak datang langsung. Pendeknya nama mereka saja terpampang gagah, kerja mereka tiada malah ada yang terbabit dalam perbuatan keji yang memalukan umat Islam setempat, negeri dan negara. ***************************** Ya, pada pandangan hamba yang daif, alangkah eloknya setiap pengurusan masjid mengambil contoh usaha dilakukan pentadbir Masjid Keroh ini. Selain menyenaraikan nama AJK masjid daripada Pengerusi sehinggalah Pemeriksa Kira-Kira dan nama pegawai syarak daripada Imam 1 sehinggalah Noja, paparkan secara terperinci tugas masing-masing termasuk jadualnya sekali. Dengan cara ini, tidaklah boleh seseorang yang namanya dipaparkan di dinding masjid itu, berlepas tangan, mereka mesti menunaikan setiap apa yang dinyatakan itu. **************************** Ketika membelek-belek tugasan AJK Masjid Keroh itu, penulis perasan ada ditulis siapa yang tugasnya memastikan kebersihan tandas pada hari itu. Ya, jika dinyatakan siapa pelaku tugas itu secara spesifik tidak bolehlah seseorang itu mengelat. Jika dinyatakan cuci tandas, cuci tandaslah tanggungjawabnya dan jika ada masalah berkaitan dengan tandas, dialah orang yang akan dicari. ************************ Bagi penulis, menulis dan mempamerkan tugasan setiap AJK masjid adalah satu tindakan profesional. Hasilnya, penulis melihat sendiri persekitaran Masjid Keroh begitu bersih serta mendamaikan. Bagi kemudahan orang berkeluarga dan musafir di sediakan sejumlah wakaf di hujung kawasan masjid. Wakafnya sungguh bersih; di setiap wakaf disediakan tong sampah. Sungguh selesa pengunjung bersantai makan bersama keluarga selepas menunaikan solat. ************************ Jika Masjid Keroh mendapat markah tinggi daripada penulis, ada sejumlah masjid yang pernah dikunjungi penulis perlu memperbaiki pengurusannya. AJK-nya perlu dibangkitkan daripada mimpi panjang, jadi sedarlah wahai anda yang namanya terpapar sebagai AJK masjid, jangan harapkan nama saja 'glamour' tetapi kerja tidak dibuat. ************************* Ada masjid yang penulis kunjungi, tandas dan bilik airnya....alamak boleh pengsan dibuatnya. Kadang-kadang bukan saja najis manusia terpalit sana sini tetapi tahi cicak 'bertimbun-timbun' menunjukkan tandasnya jarang dibersihkan. Pernah sekali penulis dan keluarga singgah di sebuah masjid pada waktu subuh, selepas solat penulis pun mandi; isteri penulis hairan kerana penulis lama sangat dalam bilik air tetapi terdengar bunyi bagai dicurah-curah. ********************** "Abang buat apa tu?" tanyanya. "Tahi cicak banyak sangat, terpalit sana, terpalit sini, depa tak pernah cucikah tandas inikah?" Selepas mandi, penulis yang lalu di depan masjid melihat papan tanda yang melakarkan nama AJK masjid. Ramai juga AJK-nya, lebih 10 orang. Terfikir di benak penulis, AJK aje ramai, buat apa, jika tandas masjid pun sudah macam setor simpan keranda saja. ************************** Bukankah lebih baik pada papan kenyataan masjid ditulis begini: AJK Masjid: Leman bin Bujal, tugasan CUTI TANDAS setiap Isnin dan Jumaat (kalaulah tak ada tugas langsung). Syor ini bukan menghina, ia sudah diamalkan di Masjid Keroh yang hasilnya 'sungguh menjernihkan'! ************************ Ingatlah akan ayat al-Quran (Surah at-Taubah: 18) yang bermaksud: “Hanyalah yang memakmurkan masjid-masjid Allah ialah orang-orang beriman kepada Allah dan hari kemudian, serta tetap mendirikan solat, menunaikan zakat dan tidak takut (kepada siapapun) selain Allah, maka merekalah orang-orang yang diharapkan termasuk golongan orang-orang yang mendapat petunjuk.” ************************** Orang yang menjaga kebersihan masjid termasuk tandasnya, termasuk dalam golongan 'memakmurkannya' daripada sebuah kata dalam bahasa Arab yang antara lain bermaksud mendiami, menetapi, menyembah, mengabdi (berbakti), membangun (mendirikan), mengisi, memperbaiki, mencukupi, menghidupkan, menghormati dan memelihara. ************************ Apa dimaksudkan “memakmurkan masjid” adalah membangun dan mendirikan masjid, mengisi dan menghidupkannya dengan pelbagai ibadah dan ketaatan kepada Allah, menghormati dan memeliharanya dengan cara membersihkannya daripada kotoran-kotoran dan sampah serta memberinya wewangian. Semoga mewangilah masjid-masjid kita dengan mencontohi pengurusan masjid yang efisyen seperti Masjid Keroh di Kuala Krai, Kelantan!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Islamic DJs at weddings

************************ In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ********************** Reflection ************************ The Declining Day (Al-'Asr) 1. By the declining day, 2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss, 3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance. *********************** DURING this long school holidays, I attended numerous wedding ‘kenduris’ (feasts); including one ‘kenduri’ held by a relative in Bidor, a small town in Perak. ******************* This one captured my heart, not because of the grand occasion but for the host’s creativeness in bringing in ‘Islamic DJs’ (disc jockeys) to enlighten and brighten the event. ********************** I thought the DJs performed well according to Islamic requirements; they aired reciting of the Qur'an, played mostly ‘nasyid’ (religious) songs softly and in between the songs they read and talked about ‘hadiths’ on love, marriage and stories about homes of chosen Islamic families such as of that of Ali bin Abi Talib and Fatima binti Rasulullah (peace be upon him – s.a.w.) and of course on the homes of Prophet s.a.w. and his wives such as Khadijah and Aishah. ************************ Among the ‘hadiths’ I heard was about Fatima’s complaint to her father (the Prophet) about the hardship in running her household. Ali bin Abi Talib narrated: “Fatima came to the Prophet asking for a servant. He said, "May I inform you of something better than that? When you go to bed, recite "Subhan Allah' thirty three times, 'Alhamdulillah' thirty three times, and 'Allahu Akbar' thirty four times. 'Ali added, 'I have never failed to recite it ever since." Somebody asked, "Even on the night of the battle of Siffin?" He said, "No, even on the night of the battle of Siffin." (Bukhari) ************************ And among the songs they played were ‘The Chosen One’ and ‘Al-Mu’alim’ (The Teacher) by Sammi Yusof. The DJs also recited du’a (prayers) and make announcement of prayer times; read messages from guests and well wishers especially to the ‘pengantin’ (bride and groom) and gave room for a 'nasyid' group to perform live in entertaining the guests. ********************** Well readers, the DJs and MCs ‘employed’ at this relative’s wedding gave fresh looks and ideas compared to the stereotyped ones in mostly Malay wedding feast I have attended. It was usual to bump into a ‘kenduri’ with loud music banging on in the air. It would be deafening and ones faced difficulty in having conversation with other guests or even with the newlyweds or their families. *********************** Since ‘Islamic' DJs and MCs are quite new to me (the one in Bidor was my first ‘encounter’), I searched the internet for this subject and ‘alhamdulillah’ (praise to Allah SWT), I found some helpful information. ********************* There was one enterprise under (Alunan Firdausi Entertainment) that provides services of Islamic DJs and MCs in the Klang Valley. ********************* With a tagline ‘Hati Ceria, Islam Terpelihara’ (Be Happy, Islam Secure), the enterprise has this to say: “Islamic DJs and MCs do not only means that he must be able to be well versed in Arabic, but more importantly, the values, the ‘akhlak’ and the ‘adab’ (manners) that are being produced and being absorbed directly and indirectly by the audience. ******************** Well, it is about re-branding the stereotype DJ and MC. This enterprise also provides for functions on sharing knowledge about the Qur’an or hadith and for wedding receptions the charges are about RM800 for a five hour sitting. ********************* Regarding hosting a function the Islamic way, a scholar said: “There must not be any form of free mixing in any of the events. Any form of ‘haraam’ is obviously forbidden. Apart from that any form of musical instrument is permissable as long as the lyrics used for it does not contravene ‘Shariah’. ********************* On the international front on this topic, in Muzaffarnagar, India, the News reported that the Muslim clerics of Jamiat Ulema Hind have called for a ban on using DJ and display of dowry goods by community members during weddings' saying it is against Islamic law. ********************* The clerics also appealed the ulemas to avoid performing ‘nikah’ in such marriages. The decision came during a meeting held in which several Muslim clerics were present. The clerics decided to ban DJs and exhibition of dowry goods during marriage saying that it is against the Shariat law. *********************** The clerics who participated in the meeting included President of Utter Pradesh Imam Organisation Mufti Zulfikar, District President of Jamiat Ulema Hind Maulana Nazar Mohammad and District Secretary Maulana Tahir Kasmi. ******************* Still on marriage but from a different aspect of it, an ‘ustaz’ during a ‘tazkirah’ (Islamic lesson) at a masjid near my house recently, gave some advise to would to be grooms and brides and most importantly to their parents. Among the tips were: ******************* · When writing invitation cards, please do not use any quotation from the Qur’an (in Arabic form) including the word ‘Bismillahirrahmanirrahim’ because of the tendency of receivers of the cards to throw away the cards including in dustbins after the said dates. Receivers of ‘kad kahwin’ please do not just throw away the cards. Dispose cards ‘carefully’, if there are words from the Qur’an on it, cut it out first. ******************* · Nowadays, it is norm to mention the word ‘bersanding’ (sitting on the wedding dais ceremony) on cards that would be held it at 1.00-1.30 pm; wouldn't this be the time for ‘Zuhur’ (mid-day) prayers? The ustaz said: “Why not someone make a move to mention in wedding cards that at 1.00-1.30 pm, the hosts would have a break for the ‘Zuhur’ prayers. ********************* · Why must we have a ‘bersanding’ with the ‘tepung tawar’ ceremony if it contradicts with the teaching of Islam? If you would hold one which does not contravene ‘Shariah’ such as having it in a special room where the sexes do not mix and minus the un-Islamic rituals such as the ‘tepung tawar’ , then there is no problem. ******************** · Nowadays there is a tendency for the would-be groom and bride to have a photo session before their ‘nikah’ (solemnization of marriage) and have their intimate pictures put on banners which are displayed at entrances of the respective homes during their ‘kenduri’ days. Avoid this because it is against the teaching of Islam because it is ‘haraam’ for intimacy for a couple who have not performed 'nikah’ or to put their pictures on banners displayed for the public to view. ********************** The ‘ustaz’ said; a marriage is an ‘ibadat’, why must we waste the opportunity to gain rewards from Allah SWT in organizing it; but instead ‘heap upon ourselves sins’ by doing things forbidden by Allah SWT. He said we were just wasting our money, resources and more importantly our time in organizing such a ‘lara’ (wasteful) ways of living. ******************** Allah SWT The Almighty had warned us about the wasting of our time and resources in in Surah Al-Asr (The Time): ****************** 1. By Al-'Asr (the time). 2. Verily! Man is in loss, 3. Except those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma'ruf)which Allah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar)which Allah has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allah's Cause during preaching His religion of Islamic Monotheism or Jihad, etc.). ********************* So, please adhere to the teaching of Islam including when holding a wedding reception or feast. Insya-Allah, we would be rewarded handsomely by Allah SWT, the newly weds would have a 'barakah' life; they would have offspring who would uphold the struggle of Islam that would be of much benefit to parents!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Floods: Being patient like the Kelantanese

************************* In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. **************************** Reflection ************************** The Declining Day (Al-'Asr) 1. By the declining day, 2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss, 3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance. ************************* IGNORING warnings not to visit the East Coast states by a relative who was staying there, I took my family to Kelantan for a holiday on the 24th December 2012, a day before Christmas. ********************* We entered Kelantan via the East-West Highway from Butterworth; all was smooth during the journey except for the drizzle for almost the entire journey until we passed Tanah Merah, a small town about 100 kilometres south of Kota Bharu. ******************** The Tanah Merah-Machang road was choked with vehicles on both sides; about half an hour after ‘inching’ our car foward, only then did we realize that a stretch of the road was under repair. ************************ The authorities had removed the tarmac surface, unfortunately the rainy season had put them into difficulty in giving the road a new surface; thus vehicles had to move on an uneven road marred with many pot holes. ******************** Yes, I was advised not to go to the East Coast states during this monsoon season, but I ignored it and now am already in Kelantan, so what should I do? *********************** I remember a Malay proverb ‘masuk kandang kambing mengembek, masuk kandang harimau mengaum’ – which I thought was equivalent to the English phrase – when in Rome just do what the Romans do; so why not I just follow the good traits of the Kelantanese for example some of them seemed very ‘patient’ and ‘cool’ in facing difficulties resulting from the floods. ********************* After the ‘crawl-like situation’ which lasted more than one hour, we reached Pulai Chondong on our way to Kota Bharu. The traffic was smooth but I realize we were already in flood prone areas. ************************ We could see in some low areas along the road submerged in waters. But surprisingly some boys were playing in the water while some men were seen casting their nets to catch fish. Well to me who was not used in facing floods, the Kelantanese were ‘cool’ in facing such a situation. **************************** We moved on until we reached Wakaf Che Yeh, a small commercial area about 10 kilometers south of Kota Bharu. Normally during our stay in Kota Bharu, we would rent a room at a homestay some distance from the commercial area but during the recent vacation, we found out that the house was submerged in water. ********************* Well, it was not our luck; I tried a few other homestays and inns and at last we were ushered into a room on level three of a building of the commercial centre. A ‘mischievous thought’ ran through my mind – if the flood water came, we would be safe as we were in a high place! ********************* That evening it rained cats and dogs. But as we were hungry we had to go out to look for food. We went down and walk along the sidewalk of the building, ran into the rain and then took refugee under canopies erected by ‘pasar malam’ (night market) traders in the area. ******************************* We kept on walking until we could go no more; the rain was pouring heavily and then came strong winds; the canopies were shaking and about to be uprooted. We then ran for our dear lives and took shelter under a building nearby but I saw the traders were not shaken in facing such a situation; they seemed ‘cool’; some just held on to the pillars of their tents while others embraced their goods such as ‘tudung’ from being blown by the strong winds. ************************* Walking along the sidewalk of the building, we realized we would not be able to go to some ‘gerai’ (food court) which was a distance away in the open. The rain was pouring heavily, and as we were too hungry we went to a 24 hour retail shop; bought a few cups of instant mee; poured hot water unto them and then had a ‘fast dinner’ while standing! ************************* We waited for the rain to stop and fortunately the rain subsided at about 10 pm. We went back to the ‘pasar malam’ area; the traders seemed unfazed by the earlier events. I thought after the heavy rain, they would ‘bungkus’ (pack up) their goods and go home as I normally witnessed ‘pasar malam’ scenes in my home state; but here I witnessed an ‘unique trait’- Kelantanese were patience in facing hardship in earning a living. ************************* The ‘pasar malam’ was much alive after the heavy rain; customers kept on coming while the traders were seen putting up more goods on display tables and hanging clothes under their canopies. **************************** A few traders asked by the writer said they would carry out their businesses even if the weather was ‘bad’ as it was only their only way to earn an income. They said as floods were almost a yearly phenomena in their areas, they were used to the difficulties during that period. **************************** They seemed calm in facing tribulations and as an outsider I admired this good trait of the Kelantan people. If the traders have positive minds not to give up in doing their businesses, perhaps those in other industries such as fishing and farming too might have a very high level of patient in facing difficulties during hard times. ************************** Just imagine fishermen not going out to sea during this monsoon season; so how would they go about coping with life without fixed incomes; perhaps they could do part time jobs but how much could they could earn from these activities? ***************************** The farmers too have to cope with the difficulties of life when their crops are destroyed or damaged by flood water. On the road to Kota Bharu, I witnessed vast areas of paddy fields submerged in waters. There were also areas planted with palm oil and rubber trees that were flooded. **************************** And what about the life of small man on the street such as the trishaw rider, shoe repairers and small stall retailers? When floods hit their areas, they might be without an income for days. So how were they going to survive? ******************************* Reflecting the difficulties in life of those caught in these floods made me realize to treasure the pleasures of life I have been endowed with by Allah SWT all this while. If the people of Kelantan could still put ‘happy faces’ when faced with this tribulation; could we do the same when we had the same fate? ********************** The relative who had earlier warned us not to go for a holiday in the East Coast upon hearing that we were already in Kota Bharu, advised us to leave Kelantan as soon as possible because the floods were getting worse by each day. ************************ This time we submitted to his advise and in no time we were packing our bags and heading home via the main road to Kuala Krai-Gua Musang-Kuala Lipis-Kuala Lumpur and Melaka. ************************ We started the journey at around 11.00 am on the 25th December and only reached Kuala Lumpur at 1.00 am and Melaka at 3.00 am the next day. Why did it took such long hours for that journey? **************************** It was because the road was packed with vehicles heading south because another main road leading south out of Kelantan via Terengganu was cut off because of the rising flood waters in Setiu and its surroundings. ******************* And another reason was because a section of the Kuala Krai-Gua Musang main road near Kuala Krai town was also flooded, but it was not that deep so vehicles could still move on but a very slow phase. ************************* At this section of the road, we experienced ‘a bumper to bumper’ situation; we had ‘to practice patience’ while ‘inching’ our car for about two hours. ********************** Well ‘that patience’ was only an ant bite compared to what was faced and experienced by the people in the East Coast states especially in Kelantan!